“I'm thinking to myself as I'm walking to get my towel in the fourth set, and it's like, 'This is the greatest moment on the tennis court of my life, and I'm in a lot of pain physically.' But I'm loving it. I think that was just kind of the story of today.”
Tennis player Ben Shelton in a post-match news conference after beating Frances Tiafoe in the U.S. Open quarterfinal match.
sep 6, 2023
Why It Matters: Shelton, 20, is the youngest U.S. men's player to make it to the U.S. Open semifinals in more than 30 years. Tuesday night's match between Shelton (ranked No. 47) and Tiafoe (ranked No. 10) also marked the first time since 2005 that two American men made it to the quarterfinals, and the first time in the Open era (dating back to 1968) that two African-American men played each other in a major quarterfinal. Shelton is now set to play Novak Djokovic on Friday in the semifinals.
After winning, Shelton motioned as if he was answering a call then hanging up. He explained the idea as: “It’s kind of like I’m saying I’m dialed in ... The first time that I really saw it is I’m really close friends with a lot of track and field athletes who train at the University of Florida where I live in Gainesville. One in particular, Grant Holloway, who’s won the World Championships I think three times in a row now, that’s kind of his signature thing.”